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(4.40) What is the difference between a “goal” and an “objective?”

(4.40) What is the difference between a “goal” and an “objective?”

Your IPP must have a statement of your goals and the specific objectives for addressing your goals.[1]Section 4646.5(a)(2).

A goal is a broad statement about where you would like to get to in your life. You do not need IPP goals for things you already have or can do. IPP goals are based on your needs. The focus of IPP goals should be on the areas of life where you have trouble. IPP goals should also be based on your preferences and life choices. You may have goals for where you want to live, what activities you want to do, or what kind of job you would like.[2]Section 4502(b)(10). A goal can be something in your life you want to change. If you do not have a job but want to have one, your goal may be, “I will get a job.” A goal may be something in your life that you would like to continue. If you are a student and want to continue learning, your goal may be, “I will continue to take classes.”

Objectives are specific and time-limited activities that help you reach your goals.[3]Section 4646.5(a)(2). Objectives must be written in your IPP to measure your progress or monitor your services. Objectives keep you and the regional center accountable toward your goals. If your goal is to get a job in your neighborhood, one of your objectives can be: “Every week, I will complete and submit three job applications at nearby businesses.” Your second objective toward your goal of getting a job might be to make follow up calls to each employer. Because they are specific and measurable, objectives hold you and your support person accountable. If you and your support person have not completed the job applications or made the follow-up calls, your objectives in the area of employment were not met. Your goal of getting a job may also not be achieved.

Your goals and objectives should maximize chances to develop relationships and be part of community life in areas such as housing, work, school, and leisure.[4]Section 4646.5(a)(2)

1 Section 4646.5(a)(2).
2 Section 4502(b)(10).
3 Section 4646.5(a)(2).
4 Section 4646.5(a)(2)